WKU Basketball off to best conference start in 22 years after 65-58 win over FIU


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and I’m going to keep saying it until they give me a reason to say otherwise. WKU basketball is red hot, and continued their winning streak with a Sunshine State sweep, first over FAU on Thursday, and then tonight with a 65-58 victory over FIU to improve to 5-0 on the season – the Hilltoppers’ best start to a conference slate since 1993.

The Tops didn’t shoot well from the floor in the first half – shooting under 25% for the first 20 minutes – and truly, they didn’t shoot much better the rest of the way, totaling just a 34.5% shooting percentage and shot only 17.6% from beyond the arc. FIU shot better than the Hilltoppers from the floor (41.8%) but the Tops’ had a slight edge from beyond the arc (14.3% by the Panthers) and WKU shot better from the free throw line, going 68.8% while FIU did 10 percent worse.

It was George Fant once again leading the way for the Toppers and much like he did against Old Dominion, he did it in both halves. Fant lead WKU in scoring at halftime with nine points and finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double. He was outdone on the score sheet only by FIU’s Dennis Mavinwho lead all scorers with 21 points.

The only other Hilltopper to score in double figures was Justin Johnson, who finished with 11 points and six rebounds and T.J. Price was on the cusp with nine, but outside of that, the Tops didn’t get big contributions. They got key points in places, but no one lit up the scoreboard.

Three guys off the Tops’ bench played upwards of 20 minutes – Johnson, Ben Lawsonwho played 19 minutes and grabbed six rebounds put up nine points and D.J. Clayton, who played a bench-high 22 minutes and had four points to show for it.

The Tops are on the type of win streak where you have to think that, at some point, you think they’ll have to slip up and get caught off guard. Part of me thought last night would have been that night, but luckily, the streak rolls on. The next time the Tops will be in action, not only will they return to John Oldham Court, and they’ll be retiring the number of Courtney Lee against UTEP.